Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Javier Garrón
Color Artist: David Curiel
Cover Artists: Javier Garrón & David Curiel
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The Avengers face one of Reality’s most devious beings: Mephisto! However, this time the insidious devil is attacking the Avengers’ unknown history of heroes to destroy them in the present and the heroes must journey to the past to stop him. This time, the Avengers are heading to the Wild West in Avengers #59, where they meet some swashbuckling heroes of the era!
At this point in time, Jason Aaron is going all the way with this journey through time as Mephisto attacks the Avengers of the past. We get an introduction to the Phoenix and Starbrand of the Old Wild West, and the notorious posse of devilish gunslingers who seek to end their career. Thankfully, the Avengers are present in this book and actually do something to help out the new heroes Jason Aaron is presenting us.
If you’re just jumping in, here’s a fair warning. Jason Aaron is going full Scott Snyder (at last as big as he did in Justice League) in this book. So, you’re getting all kinds of characters and stories that break canon both established and recent as far as characters and concepts go, like the Phoenix showing up here. All I can say is, judge the comic based on its own content and whether you like it or not and move one, because Aaron has demonstrated that Marvel comic book canon does NOT matter to him.
So, on to the story. Let’s start with the good. The comic provides a solid introduction to Reno Phoenix and Starbrand Kid as a duo of dynamic swashbuckling gunslingers doling out justice and protecting the good and innocent from evil. Their introduction is pretty over-the-top but the comic gets right into the action. Also, the comic does a fine job at establishing a spaghetti western tone for this story and characters.
On top of all of that, the Avengers actually show up to help out. Obviously, we see Echo as the new Phoenix show up to help, that’s a given but we see all of the others participate in some form or another. We even get a match up between two characters who should’ve had a fight beforehand when this storyline started, and hopefully we see more of them. Despite all of that, the comic is still just fine.
The art by Javier Garrón with David Curiel’s colors continue to make this comic look great, but there are a few moments when the art kind of fizzles, especially with all of the fire-based weapons and attacks used in the comic. A notable example is when Valkyrie and Echo try to use their own guns made of fire and they look a little weird. Also, like in previous issues, there’s no real stakes. I never once thought these new heroes were ever in any danger and that the Avengers might not help them in time.
At this point, for all of the build up Jason Aaron has done for the past 4 years – yes, 4 years – setting up Mephisto as the ultimate villain, his plan has been easily thwarted so far. I feel like Jason Aaron’s going to end up making things even more convoluted to try to make Mephisto and his Council of Red seem like serious threats to the Avengers.
Avengers #59 takes the Avengers to the Wild West where they meet new users of the Phoenix and the Starbrand. The new characters are alright, nothing spectacular or memorable, but they’re fine for this western story. However, there’s no sense of danger or stakes in this comic, so it feels like it’s only meant to show off the new characters instead of progressing the larger story.